Practical IT Research that Drives Measurable Results
Select the Right Data Integration Tools
Data volume and management needs grow with enterprises. Hand-coded, point-to-point
integration solutions offer little consistency, require constant rework, produce data quality issues,
and can actually hinder enterprise growth. Yet developers resist working with tools, and getting
budget approval can be challenging. Many enterprises are unfamiliar with the benefits of data
integration tools and don’t know where to start when evaluating solutions.
Use this research to get a handle on how you can best integrate diverse source
data, and which software vendors will help you manage your data.
This research is designed for… This research will help you…
CIOs and IT managers of medium to Develop a data integration (DI) tool
large firms who have informal Master strategy.
Data Management (MDM) processes.
Make the business case for DI tools.
Enterprises with 2+ major systems
(e.g. CRM, ERP), a document Compare and select DI tool vendors.
repository, and an appetite for BI.
All data integration architectures.
This is the second set in the Data Integration Agenda Map. Refer to Move from Chaos to a Realistic Data
Management Strategy for an introduction and upcoming sets on implementation and SaaS.
Info-Tech Research Group 2
Data integration tools can improve operations, marketing , and customers’ experience.
Establish the trigger point where these solutions will make sense for your enterprise.
• Data integration tools typically reduce development times by 60-75% and improve efficiency and
operational success. If a tool can take one developer off your payroll, it has probably paid for itself.
• Tools offer data federation, replication, and synchronization, not just ETL.
• Developing a data integration tool strategy is a function of your information architecture maturity, data
architecture, features needed and developer staff size.
• DI as a Service is ideal for the less mature who are ready to give up hand-coding but not point-to-point.
• Stack tools offer extensive functionality at a price. Those with simpler needs should use third parties.
• Tool effectiveness is highly vendor-dependent as many tools don’t actually reduce necessary hand-
• Platform standardization doesn’t lock you in with that vendor for tools; looking elsewhere is often more
• Choose your solution very carefully as products evaluated offer a tremendous range of functionality and
target vastly different needs.
• Prune data before integrating to avoid headaches and automate as much integration as possible.
• Prioritize integration; start with the mission critical, especially legacy systems.
• Painting a compelling picture of process ease with tools is the most effective way to convince
developers that change is good.
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The integration space consists of data & process integration as
well as Middleware. This set focuses on data integration.
Data Integration Process Integration SOA & Middleware
...reflects the convergence of …is workflow automation for ...is used to connect
EAI, DI and ETL vendors (see processes, e.g. online enterprise apps without
Glossary in Appendix). ordering. transforming the data.
…encompasses data …emphasizes a top-down …creates access to data in
consolidation, federation, process design approach to a distributed architectures.
propagation and access. greater extent than the other
two, starting from a process …requires advanced
…is gaining momentum as model. architecture to achieve
enterprises move from hand- success.
coding to tools. …allows organizations to
streamline process and
…prevents silos of creates opportunity for
information and enables an coordinated escalation.
enterprise-wide view of data.
Info-Tech Info-Tech predicts that these distinctions will become increasingly blurred
Insight and will become singular integration hubs within the next three to five years.
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You can’t hand-code forever. Understand how DI tools can help.
Understand Strategize Evaluate Select Implement
• Hand-coding and point-to-point integration stifle growth.
• DI tools are ready for primetime and address many data management issues.
• Case study: The costs of hand-coding
• Tools save you time, money, and grief.
Point-to-point integration stifles growth.
Stop hand-coding your own demise.
Point-to-point data architectures cannot keep up with business growth
and are mission critical enough that a misstep can sink the entire business.
“ If it’s already hand-coded, why rock the boat?
- Professional Services Manager, IT Consulting ”
If you have over a dozen integrations, which are Tools can ensure your changes don’t lead to
usually undocumented, the wrong change can data mismatches.
bring down the entire system.
Rework, quality problems, manual keying, Tools eliminate the need to rekey, simplify
endless rewriting, and no metadata are needless rework, offer quality and metadata as part of
costs and waste hundreds of hours annually. the integration development.
Hand-coding is unreliable, costly, and hard to Implement tools to increase predictability
manage when making information architecture and data management maturity.
Simple coding requests frequently spiral into Automation from tools frees resources from
tedious, never-ending tasks that eat away IT the cycle of tedious development and re-
time and resources. development.
For an introduction to data integration, refer to Info-Tech’s Data
Integration 101 and Move from Chaos to a Realistic Data
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Poor data integration disrupts your entire business.
Costs of Poor Data Integration
Costs Customer Experience Marketing Operations
Hardware Costs Customer Churn Poor Decision Making Slow Service Delivery
Software Costs Reactive Decisions Poor Positioning Slow Time-to-Market
Operational Costs Poor Marketing Poor Investment Rigid
Opportunity Costs Slow Reaction Times Strategy Labor-intensive
The cost of tools is a far less significant factor in data
integration costs than many people and process issues. [With hand-coding,] if you lose
one or two key people you
could be out of luck.
“ For hundreds of thousands of
lines you can’t do it by hand.
You’re going to miss
something. If you use tools it’s
2010 doing it all for you and going to
save you hours of work.
-Data Warehouse Manager,
Info-Tech Don’t expect tool adoption to resolve poor business processes. Sort out issues like
Insight business requirements and project management methodology first.
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If you haven’t looked at tools lately, look again.
Tools offer broad integration functionality rather than ETL* exclusively. This includes data
federation, replication, synchronization, and design that appeals increasingly to business users.
The Problems The Solution
Data is everywhere. Data is found across the Data Integration Tools integrate and consolidate all
enterprise in disparate systems and formats (e.g. data types from internal and external sources into
transactional systems, legacy systems, target destinations such as databases, data-marts,
spreadsheets, and flat files). data-warehouses, and files.
Proliferation of isolated solutions, as
different teams create custom code for each
integration project. This creates data quality Contrary to popular belief, these tools are no longer
issues, redundancies and little reusability, in their infancy. A lot of tool functionality is now
drastically increasing TCO due to the time and baked-in. Intuitive user interfaces have made them
effort needed to support multiple tools. very easy to use.
Mergers & acquisitions require tools to
combine data from disparate systems to eliminate Having a handful of tools to achieve your integration
the need to create custom-code to extract data needs is no longer necessary. They are now
from each system. consolidated and platform based so you can pick the
stack that’s right for you.
Legacy systems are outdated and difficult to
integrate. Data integration tools have built-in
connectivity capabilities enabling extraction from
“ For an efficient IT shop the tool is much more
versatile and much easier to maintain.
many source technologies.
- Manager of Enterprise Services, Entertainment
*Extract, Transform and Load
You’re probably integrating anyway, so why not
use tools to do it cheaper, faster and better?
Data integration tools typically reduce development times by 60-75%.
Benefits of Tools Costs Reduced
• Maintaining multiple skill sets and technologies.
IT • Creates consistent approach, simplifying • Redevelopment, rework, and integration updates project
development and debugging. times.
• No need to re-code to adapt function of • Debugging and exception handling development time.
• Resource ramp-up time.
• Manual re-keying not necessary.
• Data mapping and modeling time.
• Accommodates changes in the architecture.
• Knowledge is out of developers heads, not lost No matter how you measure it,
tools improve your process.
• On-boards new developers faster.
Source: Info-Tech Research Group N=52
• Create metadata to enable BI
• Easier reporting.
• Decreased data quality issues.
• Shorter timelines and reduced complexity of
business projects. Mid
• Better access to data.
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“Thirty days is great, but how about twenty minutes?”
Mid-sized insurance firm selecting a data integration tool to decrease business order time.
Situation Action Impact
Enterprise applications, Brought in consultants to Business order times will be
including Salesforce.com are document the business case reduced to 20 minutes from 30
integrated through hand- for integration tools. days.
coding, resulting in high
development times and effort. Presented case to Client Website will be
management and developers, dramatically more useable.
Need an FTE to run every gaining full support.
integration batch manually. Eliminated one FTE, saving over
Pain Points Key Success Factors The Last Word
“ What I would recommend to
other companies such as ours, if
they’re getting into a project like
“One, having the support of your
management and the board behind
you. That made my job so much
“ One of the findings was if we
wanted to just keep our company
where it is today then we don’t
this, get help immediately vs. easier, that I know we have that need to do anything. If you
trying to figure it out on your support. And the second was having want to grow then we have to
your staff ready for it. do something.
own for the first 6-7 months.
- IT Director, Insurance - IT Director, Insurance - IT Director, Insurance
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Tools measurably improve efficiency & operational success.
Integration success divides into two main statistical factors, but you can skip the heavy math;
both success factors are significantly improved when integration tools are adopted.
N = 63; Source: Info-Tech Research Group
Impact of Data Integration Tools
Compared to organizations that hand-
code, organizations that use tools are
10% more successful when it comes
to efficiency of data integration.
Organizations using tools rather than
Process Predictability hand-coding for data integration are
11% more successful when it
Data Accuracy comes to operational success.
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If a tool can take one developer off your payroll,
it has probably paid for itself.
Often at six-figure salaries, individual developers cost you more than most tools.
“Our cost is in the six figures annually just
for the integration point. It’s excessive,
The cost of licensing a tool could be anywhere
from zero* to $500,000 depending on the
there’s no question about it.
CIO, Construction ” product and your needs.
For SMBs, several recommended options are
Using a tool does not mean firing available in the $30-$50,000 range.
developers. Often developers can be moved to
other high value assignments where their This does not include:
expertise are needed. Whether you choose to cut a • Implementation costs
position or reallocate resources is up to you. • Support - 10-15% of licensing cost
• Developer training - $2000/developer
If developers need to be replaced as data • Purchase of extra application licenses.
integration resources, cheaper and fewer • Any new hardware required.
developers can be introduced, typically at a cost
savings of $30-$50,000 each.
*Talend offers a free open-source data
Look beyond resources; tools offer hard cost integration tool, though Info-Tech does not
savings from decreased operational development recommend that version for enterprise use.
and maintenance costs.
Info-Tech Hard costs won’t always justify tool purchases. Yet aforementioned
Recommends soft savings from a faster, easier process often validate the decision.
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To build or to buy, that is the question.
Understand Strategize Evaluate Select Implement
• Look to your information architecture maturity and data architecture to
determine if tools will help.
• Determine which features you need.
• Pick your licensing model based on your developer staff size.
• Not ready to give up point-to-point? Try DI as a Service.
• Make the case to get budget approval.
You’ve heard the pitch, now decide if tools are right for you.
Data Integration Tools aren’t for everyone, and within the space
there are many options for many issues. Determine which, if any, are right for you.
Consideration Build Buy Based on your answers to a series of questions about
your environment, the Info-Tech Data Integration
Initial Investment Lower Higher
Tool Readiness Assessment will recommend an
Operations Cost Higher Lower appropriate strategy for your organization.
Support & In-house IT Vendor-managed
In-house IT Staff Skill Requires high Less required
Data Cleansing Limited Often included
Metadata Capture & Limited Often included
Source-to-Target Single/Single Multiple/Multiple,
Connections only Multiple/Single,
Data Source Changes IT effort Vendor-managed
Complex Limited, Comprehensive,
Transformations taxing supports user code
One-Time Integrations Ideal Overkill
Info-Tech The rest of this set is designed for those looking to buy. For builders,
Insight please consult Info-Tech’s Application Development resources.
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Four factors govern your data integration tool selection strategy.
Answer.. So you can..
Determine which tools will be
Information How well do you understand
comfortable for your current level
Architecture Maturity your enterprise’s data flow?
or take you to the next one.
Are you using point-to-point Determine which tools help you
Data Architecture integrations or have you moved develop your architecture, or just
to a hub? make your life easier.
The data integration tool Determine which tools offer you
Functionality umbrella encompasses many the ‘need to have’, not the ‘nice to
features. Which do you need? have’ features.
How many developers will be Determine which licensing
Number of Developers working with the data models work best for your
integration tools? enterprise.
Info-Tech Developing a strategy is an art, not a science. Use these factors to
Insight direct your selection, but don’t expect any vendor to deliver a silver bullet.
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When you are ready to take a more holistic approach to
integration… use tools.
DI Tool adoption should be a function of information architecture maturity.
If you have Informal or Lite Master Data Management (MDM), tools are for you.
Information Architecture Maturity
Nothing Informal Lite Enterprise
No MDM processes Data flow is understood MDM is part of a BI, DI, Enterprise data
or tools are in place. and documented but no or EII suite. Data is modeling – every
Data integrations formal system exists. captured when moving piece of data is
are fully point-to- into a BI report or accounted for in a
point. warehouse. data dictionary.
Start developing an Pick an architecture Use tools to achieve You are likely already
understanding of based on your application integration using advanced DI
your data needs processing load before it hits central tools. Good job!
before jumping into bottleneck and select a hub.
tools. tool to support it.
Info-Tech Data Integration is necessary for providing consolidated and accurate data
Insight for decision making. Without integration tools, MDM and BI initiatives will fail.
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Look to your data architecture to direct your integration tool
needs. Native functionality helps improve it.
Point-to-Point Hub and Spoke Federated Distributed
Tightly coupled Centralized architecture The data store does not Uses agents positioned
connections between that uses a data store actually store any data – between the system and
software (hub) to populate only rules to direct and data store to reduce
applications. systems (spokes). coordinate data between system processing load.
Start with lighter
solutions, such as DI Most tools support all three structures. If you are looking to upgrade to one of
as a Service options these structures, tools will enable and simplify this process. The decision to pick a
to streamline the hub, rules engine, or intermediaries will depend on where in your system you
process. would like process load.
Info-Tech Data Integration Tools are not for one type of data architecture.
Insight Align your tool selection with your architecture to derive maximum benefit.
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Determine which data integration features you need.
Use… To… When…
Migrate/ convert A source system is renewed or Selection Tips
data in bulk to a new because of application
Process data changes Loading data marts/ warehouses Most data integration
in bulk at scheduled and application integration. tool suites encompass
intervals. all listed features to
Update data in Requirements necessitate data be
multiple systems as it updated in real time – Use your feature
is changed. Operational dashboards, etc.. requirements as a guide
as you develop your data
Track data lineage Transforming/consolidating data integration tool strategy.
(source, history, from multiple sources into a data
transformation). store, e.g. warehouse or mart.
Cleanse and Cleansing /consolidating within Purchasing a full suite
Data Quality Tool consolidate the same application or as part of may be more costly in
conflicting data. a transformation routine. the short term but the
level of support and
Create well-formed Building/revising a data functionality is
Data Modeler data structures that architecture for an application or higher than with
respect integrity. enterprise structure. cheap and easy tools.
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Use developer team size to
pick the licensing model that’s right for you.
1. Pick the right license 2. Minimize tool count
Per Developer Licensing Having a handful of tools to achieve your
integration needs is no longer necessary. They are
Tools designed for smaller shops typically use per now consolidated and platform based so you can
developer licensing. All else equal, these are pick the stack that’s right for you.
typically most cost effective for shops with four or
less integration developers. Standardize and consolidate tools to drive down
costs. Paying for software licenses and support for
multiple tools is much less cost effective than
Per Processor Licensing
purchasing a robust tool or suite.
Stack tools, typically targeting enterprise clients,
license per processor. Measures of enterprise size Consider what tools offer in terms of price-to-
aside, these typically become cost-effective if they performance. It is better to invest in one
will be used by more than four integration flexible tool than purchase several as needed,
developers. which inflates software costs.
With market consolidation, a single tool may now be
If up-front costs are too high to make tool use
used for data integration, migration, data quality,
feasible, don’t give up! Check out DI as a Service.
and even MDM.
Info-Tech Data Integration enables application consolidation through efficient and
Insight effective low-effort data migration, dramatically decreasing licensing costs.
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If you have lighter data integration needs,
on-premise or off, investigate DI as a Service first.
DI as a Service (DIaaS) offerings are targeted at less mature customers
who are ready to give up hand coding but not point-to-point.
Adopting SaaS introduces the need for integration, Pick DIaaS if you...
and while custom coding is common and generally
• Are adopting SalesForce.com or other
feasible, it can be very resource intensive and
difficult to scale as SaaS applications multiply and
• Have Informal MDM process
more point-to-point connections are demanded.
• Are intimidated by DI Tools
DIaaS, an on-demand offering itself, addresses SaaS • Operate in a SaaS-friendly industry
integration challenges. It is cloud-based and
designed to work with SaaS offerings, significantly Concerned about security? Consider...
reducing implementation time and overall costs. Private Cloud: Host data integration in your
own intranet for maximum security.
Many DIaaS vendors utilize pricing models designed
to scale from small to large organizations, e.g. Single Hop Integration: Transfer data directly
providing free development tools and charging from your intranet to your SaaS application to
customers on a monthly, per-connection basis, minimize bandwidth use.
rather than license a major software package.
“ IT is getting too complex to do everything “ The security in place [in cloud vendor data
centers] is definitely 150 times better than
in house - SaaS makes sense.
– Vice President, Finance ” what I see in my server closet.
- IT Director, Insurance ”
Info-Tech The future is hybrid, not full SaaS, so choose solutions wisely: an inability to
Insight integrate a vendor’s SaaS offering with other data can severely limit its value.
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Getting budget approval is tough. Let the TCO Calculator help.
Successful data integration initiatives are a source of competitive advantage,
allowing enterprises to reduce costs, derive insights and out-perform competitors.
In practice, opportunities are missed for tool
adoption because of failure to make the business
case and gain budget approval.
Realizing the business and IT benefits of tools
requires an ability to quantify and justify the
costs of a data integration tool to the CFO or
Money talks. Leverage Info-Tech’s Data
Integration Build vs. Buy TCO Calculator to
demonstrate the value of purchasing a tool.
Input costs associated with both building and
buying to calculate and display five year TCOs Despite its inherent complexities, data integration
for both scenarios. requires business input to drive value. Collaborate with
business users following budget approval to refine
business requirements and ensure success.
Info-Tech The TCO Calculator isn’t your only weapon for gaining budget approval. Leverage
Insight slides from this set to outline soft costs and benefits to demonstrate the value of tools.
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Look to the Vendor Landscape to
determine who can meet your needs.
Understand Strategize Evaluate Select Implement
• Create a list of requirements to guide you into the vendor selection process.
• Evaluate which vendors are right for you.
• Use niche vendors if you have niche needs.
Features Operation Architecture Support
• Data Migration/ • Recovery of integration • System Requirements • Customer Support
Conversion after failure • Number of connectors • User Manuals
• Batch Integration • Exception reporting and • Stack alignment • Implementation
• Real Time Integration notification • Hosted Integration Support
• Metadata Management • Project Repository with • Intranet Hosting • Training
• Data Cleaning version control • Software Updates
• Single Hop Integration
• Data Modeling • Middleware • Performance
• Geographic &
Info-Tech IT is not responsible for determining business needs. Involve business stakeholders
Recommends from inception to operation to ensure the integration meets these requirements.
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Data Integration Evaluation Criteria & Weighting Factors
The solution provides basic
Features and advanced integration features. Features Price
The five year TCO of the solution is
The solution is constructed with a flexible Product
Architecture and functional design.
Vendor Evaluation Vendor
Vendor is profitable, knowledgeable, and will
Viability be around for the long-term. Viability Support
Vendor offers implementation and ongoing
Support management support.
Vendor is committed to the space and has a Strategy
Strategy future product and portfolio roadmap.
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The Info-Tech Data Integration Vendor Landscape
Champions receive high scores for most Informatica
evaluation criteria and offer excellent value.
They have a strong market presence and are SAP
usually the trend setters for the industry.
Competitors strike a strong balance
between product and vendor attributes. IBM
They have the potential to become future
industry leaders if they address the missing
links in their offerings.
Emerging players are newer vendors
who are starting to gain a foothold in the
marketplace. They balance product and
vendor attributes, though score lower
relative to market Champions. Oracle
Innovators have demonstrated innovative DataFlux
product strengths that act as their Microsoft
competitive advantage in appealing to niche
segments of the market.
Industry standard vendors are
established players with very strong vendor
credentials, but with more average product
For a complete description of Info-Tech’s Vendor Landscape methodology, see the Appendix.
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Every vendor has its strengths & weaknesses; pick the one that
works best for you.
Features Price Architecture Viability Support Strategy
Note: “Harvey Ball” scores are produced by normalizing weighted, raw scores for each category, resulting in relative scores for each
category. For example, an empty circle does not indicate a zero score; it indicates the lowest score in that category relative to other
products. Likewise, a solid circle does not indicate a perfect score, but rather the high score in that category relative to the other products.
Informatica Cloud is a great way to get your feet wet.
Info-Tech Rating Overview
• Offers stripped down hosted data integration.
• Founded in 1993, launched Informatica Cloud in 2006
Champion • Recognized data integration leader.
• Informatica Cloud focuses on entry-level data integration
Employees: 2,024 Strengths
Headquarters: Redwood City, CA
Website: informaticacloud.com • Offers single hop integration (routes directly from your
intranet to your SaaS application).
“ We continue to see demand
from enterprise accounts
who need robust cloud
• Strong usability makes it usable for non-IT users.
• Support for mobile.
• Ability to move integration workflows from cloud to on-
data integration with premise version with no redevelopment necessary.
enterprise apps like Oracle
and SAP. Challenges
” • Informatica Cloud designed for less technical users; more
mature or complex data integration needs likely require
Informatica’s on-premise product to achieve full
• Price leap from the cloud to enterprise version.
Info-Tech If you’re looking for the efficiencies that tools bring but aren’t ready to
Recommends give up point-to-point integration, Informatica Cloud is a great stepping stone.
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Pervasive Data Integrator offers impressive
price and performance, especially for SMBs.
Info-Tech Rating Overview
• Offers data integration with an SMB focus.
• Founded in 1994, flagship PSQL launched in 1999.
Competitor • SaaS offerings include DataSolutions and DataCloud 2.
• A third of all new Pervasive signups are SaaS.
Employees: 230 Strengths
Headquarters: Austin, TX
Website: pervasive.com • Offers intranet SaaS (private cloud).
• Broad offering of connectors, including to cloud and web
“ More than half of our applications.
customers are SMBs. At the • Subscription pricing for all products is very affordable.
same time, large enterprises • An MDM integration hub is available for those seeking to
benefit from the flexibility increase MDM maturity.
and extensibility of the
Pervasive integration Challenges
–Pervasive ” • Size and stack independence mean they are a potential
target for takeovers.
• While more affordable and easier to use, functionality is
not as robust as offered by some stack-aligned vendors.
Info-Tech Pervasive Data Integrator is a strong cloud offering, and one of the cheapest available.
Recommends While not as powerful as some offerings out of the box, its add-on library is impressive.
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Talend offers no-nonsense functionality
at a competitive price.
Info-Tech Rating Overview
• Founded in 2005, only open source offering recognized as
a viable integration solution.
Innovator • Originally SMB focus, customers now include AOL,
Virgin Mobile, and Sony.
• Focused on the operational, non-BI integration space.
Employees: 200 Strengths
Headquarters: Suresnes, France
Website: talend.com • Competitive pricing.
• Can connect with hosted or on-premise applications.
“ Today’s market favors
companies that offer a
• Separate MDM tools operate in same development
• Free core development environment is ideal for making
with a rapid ROI, we are the business case or proof of concept.
meant to meet and Challenges
exceed those demands.
–Talend ” • No hosted offering, though connectors for SaaS
applications are included.
• Functionality is the most basic of the products evaluated.
• Does not offer integration templates.
Info-Tech With an Open Core, Talend is ideal when you need to make the DI tool business case
Recommends with little or no budget, and offers enterprise usability extensions from there.
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DataFlux offers a strong data management suite and focuses less
on the pure integration market.
Info-Tech Rating Overview
• Offers cleansing, quality, integration, and MDM
Emerging Player • Founded in 1997, acquired by SAS in 2000.
• Focus on data management and integration for
enterprises with compliance needs.
Employees: 150 (11,000 at SAS) Strengths
Headquarters: Cary, NC
Website: dataflux.com • An integrated Data Management Studio provides
extensive functionality if/when desired.
• Offers DataFlux Connect for SAP solutions.
• Impressive built-in data quality functionality.
Having this big corporate • Functionality for every phase of MDM maturity.
parent allows us to sell • Caters to industries with stronger compliance needs.
the right technology at
the right time.
-DataFlux ” Challenges
• While data management and governance functionality is
strong, integration tools are less robust.
• Data integration is strategically not DataFlux’s core
competency though this may change in the future.
• Not for those who are BI focused.
Info-Tech If you’re looking for broad data management functionality, Data Flux has got it,
Recommends though it is not designed for enterprises seeking data integration only.
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IBM InfoSphere Information Server is a very strong
and increasingly affordable product.
Info-Tech Rating Overview
• Offers data integration as a subset of the InfoSphere
Innovator • Started offering in 2006, many acquisitions since then.
• Historically focused on large enterprise, but currently
Employees: 400,000 Strengths
Headquarters: Armonk, NY
Website: ibm.com • Very strong functionality and architecture.
• Shared parallel processing engine.
• SaaS offering through Amazon EC2.
We combine data quality • Metadata capture is very impressive.
on an integration • Viable on a project basis by renting service or using fixed
platform along with all term contracting.
the features our
customers are asking for.
–IBM ” Challenges
• While price point is becoming increasingly reasonable for
SMBs, it is still significantly more expensive than
Info-Tech IBM’s price point makes it a tough sell for SMBs. But if you can stomach it, IBM offers great
Recommends integration functionality as well as impressive extensibility into other data domains.
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SAP BusinessObjects Data Integrator is a
practical, manageable tool for SAP enterprises.
Info-Tech Rating Overview
• Offers no-nonsense enterprise level data integration.
• Founded in 1990, acquired by SAP in 2007.
Champion • Focuses on all data sources, not strictly applications.
Employees: 47,578 Strengths
Headquarters: Walldorf, Germany
Website: sap.com • Strong support for unstructured data, including text files
in 32 languages.
“ You can significantly
simplify and reduce your IT
efforts with a single intuitive
• Fully integrated data quality manager.
• Impressive ease of use, though still ideal for IT rather
than business users.
that handles all tasks
associated with building an Challenges
ETL or data quality process.
-SAP BusinessObjects ” • Despite strong offering, it is an enterprise-level solution
and likely too comprehensive and costly for smaller shops
with less mature integration needs.
• Likely not a viable choice for those who aren’t already
aligned on a SAP stack.
Info-Tech Unlike some other large data integration vendors, BusinessObjects DataIntegrator
Recommends isn’t overkill. It’s an accessible solution which offers functionality you will actually use.
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Microsoft SSIS is a no-brainer for SQL Server users.
It may not reduce hand-coding but will allow you to do more.
Info-Tech Rating Overview
• Offers enterprise-level data integration and
transformation for SQL Server users.
Emerging Player • SQL Server feature since 7.0 (1998).
• Focuses inherently on BI functionality and users.
Employees: 89,000 Strengths
Headquarters: Redmond, WA
Website: microsoft.com • Included with those who own SQL Server.
• Very strong BI functionality, particularly for populating
Data Warehouses and Data Marts.
“ We have one of the
ecosystems of any data
• A programmable object model lets developers write hosts
for packages and their execution.
• Strong future roadmap to address product gaps.
• If you aren’t presently using SQL Server, this option is
• Weak metadata and data quality functionality.
• Often does not significantly reduce the need for hand
coding but instead diverts it to more advanced
Info-Tech For SQL Server owners, SSIS is free, making it a no-brainer. For hand coders
Recommends simply trying to make their life easier, SSIS cannot presently be recommended.
Info-Tech Research Group 33
Oracle Data Integrator is a comprehensive solution.
If you have an Oracle stack.
Info-Tech Rating Overview
• Offers a comprehensive solution to everything data
integration (incl. migration, BI, SOA, etc..).
Competitor • Originally Sunopsis, purchased by Oracle in 2006.
• Focuses on enterprise-scale deployments.
Employees: 105,000 Strengths
Headquarters: Redwood Shores, CA
Website: oracle.com • Template-driven deployment.
• Advanced debugging and diagnoses, e.g.: error
management, simulation, and session control.
“ [Our product] is a
integration platform that
• Full integration with the Oracle technology stack.
• Master repository, with several separated environments
for models, projects and scenario execution.
covers all data integration
–Oracle • Squarely an enterprise-level solution and too
comprehensive an option for smaller shops with less
mature data integration needs.
• Likely not a viable choice for those who aren’t already
aligned on an Oracle stack.
Info-Tech Oracle Data Integrator offers a ton of functionality for Oracle-aligned enterprises
Recommends that can afford it. It will appeal to those with the most complex data integration needs.
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That’s not all, folks! Niche players may satisfy your needs.
Market consolidation means vendors are moving toward holistic data integration platforms.
Nice players have lighter offerings with narrower functionality (particularly for data migration).
Info-Tech defines niche vendors as companies
that provide single functionality solutions, single
industry solutions, or solutions that function as
an add-on to other packaged software.
Migration/Conversion vendors provide this
functionality only and often charge by record.
ETL vendors provide core
extract/transform/load functionality without the
advanced features of modern integration tools.
Data Quality vendors allow you to address
data quality issues (invalid, stale or duplicate
data, duplication and conflicts) without delving
into data integration.
This is not a complete list of vendors.
Info-Tech does not endorse any vendor listed.
Info-Tech There are hundreds of niche vendors, with many appearing and disappearing daily.
Insight Check the track record of any niche vendor before trusting your data to them.
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Align vendor offerings with your needs.
Understand Strategize Evaluate Select Implement
• Look to common scenarios for Info-Tech’s recommendations.
• Identify potential solutions providers with the Vendor Shortlist Tool
• Focus requirements with the RFP Proposal Template
• Rate vendor responses with the RFP Scoring Tool
• Take charge of demonstrations with the Vendor Demo Script
That’s a lot of information… but what do you really need?
Check stack tools first if you rely heavily on a particular stack. They have domain
knowledge and the ability to generate data code automatically (e.g. SAP ABAP code or
Stack or Third Party?
Oracle flexfields). However, if these tools seem like overkill, cheaper third party
are a viable alternative.
Though real-time and online integration is supplanting batch-oriented, this is not
Real-time or Batch? always appropriate and can significantly increase costs and bog down performance.
Unless up-to-date real-time data will drive business value, batch integration
remains entirely appropriate.
More advanced tools may provide parallel processing and workload balancing. Both
How do I address
are useful for enterprises with large data volumes and overcome performance
huge data flow?
issues stemming from bottlenecks in peak frequency times.
Don’t overlook data quality; it is key to data integration success, as integrating
What about Data bad data is ineffective. Many offerings include this functionality directly or through a
Quality? third party extension; in most cases the difference is negligible. Keep in mind the ratio
of cost-to-effectiveness, as 100% accuracy is rarely worth the investment.
Impact analysis (i.e. tracing the impact of source data changes on reports or analysis)
What’s Impact requires metadata integration and data lineage and allows for development of ‘what-if’
Analysis? scenarios. This functionality is recommended for enterprises with complex
integration architectures. (e.g. a target field is derived from multiple source fields).
Debugging environments, often included, are useful for error-checking when
When do I Debug?
developing integrations, especially if staffing less experienced developers.
Info-Tech Research Group 37
Not all vendors are created equal.
Pick the right one for your case.
Effectiveness is highly vendor dependent.
While tool satisfaction is uniformly above hand-
coding, it ranges dramatically across stack
Reduction in hand-coding is also variable, with
some tools failing to provide a significant
reduction at all.
I want… Info-Tech Recommends
To reduce hand-coding without abandoning Informatica Cloud
To get tools as cheaply as possible. Talend, Informative Cloud, Pervasive Data Integrator
Stick with a stack vendor. BusinessObjects Data Integrator, Oracle Data
Integrator, IBM Information Server, Microsoft SSIS
Integration with a comprehensive data DataFlux
To try before I buy to help make the business Talend
To improve my SQL Server data integration. Microsoft SSIS
Identify leading solution candidates with the
Data Integration Tool Vendor Shortlist.
The Info-Tech Data Integration Tool Vendor Shortlist is designed to
generate a customized shortlist of vendors based on key priorities.
This tool offers the ability to modify:
• Overall Vendor vs. Product
• Vendor criteria weightings (e.g.
vendor viability, support,
• Product criteria weightings
(e.g. features, architecture,
Use this tool at an early stage of
analysis to identify vendors that will
best meet business requirements.
Info-Tech Research Group 39
Focus solution requirements with the
Data Integration Solution RFP Template.
Issuing RFPs is a critical step in your
vendor selection process.
The Info-Tech Data Integration
Solution RFP Template comes
populated with important elements you
don’t want to forget. These include:
• The Statement of Work
• Proposal Preparation Instructions
• Scope of Work
• Specification & Requirements
• Vendor Qualifications &
• Budget & Estimated Pricing
• Vendor Certification
Info-Tech An RFP implies stable requirements and an intent to buy –
Insight use this tool to help select a supplier, not to develop a shortlist.
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Put hard numbers behind vendor claims &
keep evaluations objective by scoring RFP responses.
A standard and transparent process for scoring individual vendor
RFP responses will help ensure that internal team biases are minimized.
The Info-Tech Data Integration Solution
Evaluation & RFP Response Tool comes
pre-built with important scoring criteria
for vendor RFP responses.
This tool includes modifiable criteria
across the following categories:
• Features (e.g. real-time integration)
• Operational Requirements (e.g.
debugging, exception reporting)
• Architecture (e.g. hosted
deployment, connector volume)
Adjust the individual category weightings to
customize this tool to business priorities.
Info-Tech Pricing information distracts reviewers from evaluating business and technology
Insight requirements. Consider withholding it until after evaluation of functional criteria.
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Take charge of vendor finalist demonstrations
with a Vendor Demonstration Script.
An on-site product demonstration will help enterprise decision-makers better
understand the capabilities and constraints of various solutions.
The Info-Tech Data Integration Vendor
Demonstration Script is designed to provide
vendors with a consistent set of instructions for
This template includes examples for the
• Planning and Deployment
• Meeting Setup and Operation
• Software Installation
• Initial Configuration
Modify this demo script template to fit your
individual needs and requirements.
Info-Tech Research Group 42
Take pre-emptive steps to set yourself up for data integration success.
Understand Strategize Evaluate Select Implement
• Determine how you’ll integrate to prepare for implementation.
• Get a handle on your implementation and operation timeline.
• Avoid DIaaS and SaaS pitfalls.
• Highlight process improvement to quell developer resistance.
Prepare for implementation to ensure a smooth process.
Manage the Technology Don’t forget People and Processes
1 Flexibility is king.
Where possible, reduce future costs by selecting a
tool that is reusable and replace other single-
Integration size, complexity, and available
internal staff determine consulting need.
function tools to minimize licensing and support. For straightforward implementations, most
Consider present and future needs. enterprises should be able to proceed with their own
staff or resources provided by their selected vendor
2 When possible, automate.
The closer your tool aligns with your desired
or channel partners.
Complex, large scale integrations, or enterprises
functionality, the less hand-coding you will have with very limited IT staff may benefit from
to do, so capturing precise technical requirements introducing consultants as soon as possible.
is critical. Properly chosen, data integration tools
are flexible and can lend themselves to complex
The goal of any data integration tool should be to
make source data systems plug n’ play. Keep
Prune data first. this in mind when developing your implementation
Storing duplicate and unneeded data is process, as processes that don’t enable this will
expensive; the cost to integrate or migrate it is require on-going management, limiting cost and
worse. Remove this data before integration to time savings, and causing additional grief .
drive down costs and the timeframe.
Info-Tech For an in-depth guide to implementation, please see Info-Tech’s forthcoming
Research Implement Data Integration Tools solution set to be released in 2011.
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Your timeline length depends on your integration,
but the steps are the same.
If you are purchasing new hardware systems in Prioritize integrations.
conjunction with your tool, begin by mapping
and connecting the new physical infrastructure Start automating crucial integrations that are
before worrying about the tools themselves. deemed mission critical to the business. If you are
using legacy systems, start there, as these
Tools that will run on existing software typically integrations are in most urgent need of replacing.
feature straightforward installations for the agent
and demonstration environment. Updating other lower priority integration points
should be undertaken as a subsequent phase.
Start Integrating Data with a 5 Step Process:
Implement Create Automate Test
1 Quality Control 2 Connections 3 Integrations 4 Procedures 5 Execute
Plan accordingly: More complex integrations will have a lower reduction in development time.
Hand-coded Integration: 8 weeks Hand-coded Integration: 24 weeks
With Tools: 8 days – 80% reduction With Tools: 9 weeks – 62% reduction
Info-Tech Vendors setup takes between 1 day and 1 month depending on your environment.
Insight Ensure you are internally prepared for integration or risk taking several times longer.
Info-Tech Research Group 45
Avoid the pitfalls of using DI as a Service
and integrating SaaS applications.
Know when to create a custom adapter. Most large SaaS vendors run off a single database
instance, which, while easier to maintain, presents
Some enterprises may elect to write their own customer challenges:
connector to facilitate bulk uploads. There are
two triggers for this scenario: It takes time. Moving batches of millions of
records takes a considerable amount of time.
1 Real-time integration with other
systems. Some enterprises may require near
real-time integration with other applications
Tweak the interface to improve performance.
Persistent connections are a
such as ERP, marketing automation, or must. Negotiating thousands or millions of
customer service applications. individual connections for a batch transfer will
cripple performance. Use the persistent
2 Excessive scale and complexity. Third-
party applications for bulk uploads will baulk
with transfers characterized by:
Multiple threads don't help. Starting multiple
Over 200,000 records. sessions to transmit batched data will not help
Over 1,000 data fields. performance due to authentication complications
and may even slow down performance.
Overcoming negative SaaS perceptions is still
an issue. When surveyed, 61% of Info-Tech Lock out unnecessary features. During batch
respondents believed SaaS to be more difficult updates some usability features will constantly
to integrate than on-premise applications. update, leading to poor performance.
Info-Tech Use consulting help if needed. SaaS vendors offer professional services to assist
Insight with data transfer which may be helpful for more complex integration projects.
Info-Tech Research Group 46
Expect developer resistance and overcome it through dialog.
Developers gonna develop. Tools are friendly.
The market is moving away from custom coding and Managers don’t train developers on data
many stubborn developers are holding integration tools. Address resistance through
organizations back. developer managers.
Tools are strongly resisted by developers who feel Don’t expect resistance to be demographically
the tools take away control and freedom, yet the uniform, or even logical, e.g. newer developers
tools are essential for data management maturity. could expect tools to be in place or fiercely resist
them, feeling the need to prove themselves
Developers will say the tool isn’t robust enough through coding.
which comes from insecurity and fear of being
replaced. Regardless of developer reasoning, the key to
convincing developers is process: show them how
Programming is a part of the job they like doing so tools will make their lives easier and they will be
they don’t want to reduce it. They think tools mean wowed.
they just do data entry.
Yet system mapping and knowledge is more
I think getting a third party, a second voice
that they’re not used to hearing all the time,
saying the same thing in different words,
valuable. They need to expand their thinking of I think that made a significant impact.
what it means to be a developer. - IT Director, Insurance
Info-Tech Seeing is believing. Painting a compelling picture of process ease with
Insight tools is the most effective way to convince developers that change is good.
Info-Tech Research Group 47
At some point data integration tools become required for business growth.
They improve operations, marketing, and customer experience.
• Tools reduce development times by 60-75% and improve efficiency and operational success.
• If a tool can take one developer off your payroll, it has probably paid for itself.
• Developing a data integration tool strategy is a function of your information architecture
maturity, data architecture, features needed and developer staff size.
• DI as a Service (DIaaS) offerings are targeted at less mature customers who are ready to
give up hand coding but not point-to-point.
• Tool effectiveness is highly vendor-dependent as many tools don’t actually reduce necessary
• Prune data before integrating to avoid headaches, and automate as much integration as
• Prioritize integration; start with the mission critical.
• Painting a compelling picture of process ease with tools is the most effective way to
convince developers that change is good.
Info-Tech Research Group 48
Info-Tech Research Group 49
Business Intelligence (BI) processes and applications that provide a holistic view of business operations that are
used to support decision making.
Business Process the continuous improvement of business processes to align them with customer needs.
Data Agility the ability of a piece or group of data to be easily manipulated and adapted as needed
Data Architecture the design of data, systems and tools that support an organization or business function
Enterprise Application linking applications together through data integration.
Enterprise Information creating a single interface to view data from more than one source.
Extract, Transform and the process of extracting data from an outside source, transforming it to meet needs
Load (ETL) and loading it into the end target.
Legacy System old hardware or software that is still used and contain valuable data.
Master Data Management creating a single and inclusive view of data.
Software-as-a-Service enables a company to rent an application from a vendor that hosts it.
Service-Oriented the process of building scalable distributed systems that treat all software components
Architecture (SOA) as services
Data Modeling is the process of defining and analyzing enterprise data to better manage data and
improve business processes.
Info-Tech Research Group 50
Vendor Landscape Methodology
Info-Tech Research Group’s Vendor Landscape market evaluations are a part of a larger product selection solution set, referred
to as a ‘Select Set.’
The Vendor Landscape evaluation process starts with a customer survey. Customers tell us which vendors and products
they’ve heard of and which ones they use, plan to use or are investigating.
From these survey results and the domain experience of our analysts, a vendor/product shortlist is established. Product
briefings are requested from each of these vendors, asking for information on the company, products, technology, customers,
partners, sales models and pricing.
Our analysts then score each vendor and product across a variety of categories. These scores are then weighted according to
weighting factors that our analysts believe represent the weight that an average client should apply to each criteria. The
weighted scores are then averaged for each of two high level categories: vendor score and product score. A plot of these two
resulting scores is generated to place vendors in one of five categories: Champion, Competitor, Emerging Player, Innovator and
Analysts take the individual scores for each vendor/product in each evaluation category and normalize them to a scale of zero
to four. This produces a relative scoring, where a low score value indicates low performance in that category relative to the
performance of the other products in that category and vice versa for a high score. These normalized scores are
represented with “Harvey Balls”, ranging from an open circle for a score of zero and a filled-in circle for a score of four.
Harvey Ball scores do not represent absolute scores, only relative scores.
Individual scorecards are then sent to the vendors for factual review, and to ensure no information is under embargo. We will
make corrections where factual errors exist (e.g. pricing, features, technical specifications). We will consider suggestions
concerning benefits, functional quality, value, etc; however, these suggestions must be validated by feedback from our
customers. We do not accept changes that are not corroborated by actual client experience or wording changes that are
purely part of a vendor’s market messaging or positioning. Any resulting changes to final scores are then made as needed,
before publishing the results to Info-Tech clients.
Vendor Landscapes are refreshed every 12 to 24 months, depending upon the dynamics of each individual market.
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